• $93M in Texas taxpayer money has gone to wrongful convictions

    The state of Texas has given restitution to 101 men and women who were wrongfully convicted of and wrongfully incarcerated for committing crimes. The total compensation has amounted to $93.6 million over the last 25 years, data from the state comptroller’s office showed. This amount is bound to rise as the wrongfully imprisoned individuals get older and more people become wrongfully imprisoned.

    According to The Innocence Project, a non-profit legal organization aimed at exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA tests, Texas’ compensation program is among the most generous in the United States. Some states have no compensation programs or put a ceiling on the amount that an exoneree is allowed to receive. The Texas compensation program was made possible by the 2009 Tim Cole Act, which was named after a Texas Tech University student wrongfully convicted of aggravated sexual assault in 1985.

    The team at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter can defend your rights and protect your future if you have been charged with a criminal offense. Get in touch with our criminal defense lawyer to find out more about the legal services we offer by calling our Dallas offices at (214) 845-7007.

  • Mark Lassiter Explains Texas Gun Laws to bsndenver.com

    Dallas gun crime attorney Mark T. Lassiter was tapped by Colorado sports website bsndenver.com about possible charges faced by Aqib Talib of the Denver Broncos.

    Talib was shot in the right leg on June 5th. The location of the shooting is disputed. The official police report indicates that Talib and two other individuals were assaulted and injured at Dallas’s V Live nightclub, but there are differing accounts of what happened. WFAA-TV reported that Talib’s story is that he was shot in a park, miles away from the club. Additionally, Talib is said to have shot himself. The bullet’s path through the rear of Talib’s right thigh through his right calf is consistent with that interpretation.

    If the wound was in fact self-inflicted, Talib could be facing gun charges in Dallas. Mark Lassiter weighed in on what these charges might be for bsndenver.com. Depending on whether or or not he had a CCL, he could be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. The accidental shooting incident could lead to a Class A misdemeanor. However, if Talib is found to have intentionally brought a firearm into a place where they are prohibited, such as the V Live nightclub, he could be facing a third degree felony charge. In the article, Lassiter points out a potential defense for a gun charge under similar circumstances.

    Gun crimes can carry serious penalties. If you’ve been charged with a gun crime in Dallas, get in touch with the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter at (214) 845-7007 to discuss the specifics of your case with an established criminal defense lawyer.

  • Court says no to testing where blood is drawn after DWI arrest

    The Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas reversed Dallas County Judge Nancy Mulder’s decision that allows the examination of a chair and room for diseases at the Dallas County jail. The chair in question is where blood is drawn from people who have been arrested for DWI charges. The ruling argued that the tests were not necessary to the case of Joshua Barton, who is represented by Attorney Mark Lassiter.

    In the opinion penned by Chief Justice Carolyn Wright, she said, “He presented no evidence he actually suffered illness that in some way could be linked to the blood test.” In April 2016, Mulder granted an order to test for diseases after criminal defense attorneys made the motion that the room was not sanitary and was in violation of Texas law. The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office asked the appeals court to overturn Mulder’s decision.

    A criminal charge conviction can bring devastating consequences to those accused. If you are charged with a criminal offense in Dallas, seek the legal expertise of the attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter. We have dedicated our careers to protecting the rights of people convicted of crimes. Call our offices at (214) 845-7007 to learn more about your legal options.

  • Mark Lassiter to appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on behalf of client

    Mark Lassiter recently spoke to Jennifer Emily of The Dallas Morning News’s Crime Blog about appealing to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals over a ruling made by the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas. The 5th Court of Appeals overturned a decision previously made by criminal court Judge Nancy Mulder, who granted an order to test for diseases in the room where blood is drawn at the Dallas County Jail.

    Lassiter’s client was charged with misdemeanor DUI in February of 2015. After Mark Lassiter argued that the room and chair that was used to draw blood from his client was not sanitary, Mulder granted an order to test for diseases. However, in the 5th Court of Appeals, Chief Justice Carolyn Wright overturned Mulder’s order citing that Lassiter’s client did not get sick after having his blood drawn.

    In response to Wright’s decision, Lassiter told the Crime Blog, “At the end of the day, they’re saying that because my guy didn’t get sick, we shouldn’t have access for the testing.” He added “They’re saying we should wait until someone gets some horrific disease: strep, hepatitis, AIDS …”

    One of the major issues the 5th Court of Appeals took with Lassiter’s case was what it perceived as a lack of evidence that his client’s health had been affected or that the room where the blood was drawn was unsanitary. Lassiter told the Crime Blog that Mulder is best suited to determine what evidence is necessary in her court, not the more distant 5th Court of Appeals.

    Lassiter is certainly not the first to call the blood-draw methods of law enforcement into question. In fact, former State District Judge John Creuzot threw out a case involving a Dallas police officer over concerns about sanitation. In that case, the officer that oversaw the blood-draw rooms testified that he did not believe that the rooms in question were clean.

  • Assault charges dismissed against Houston doctor

    The assault charges filed against 49-year-old Dr. Rafael Lugo have been dropped.  Lugo was serving at Houston Methodist Hospital and Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, both in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, when a Montgomery County grand jury refused to indict him last Tuesday, May 31.

    Lugo was charged in December 2015 with assault of a family member – a felony – for allegedly breaking the finger of his former girlfriend, former KHOU news anchor Christine Haas, as he was preventing her from leaving his home. Haas underwent surgery to repair the damage. Lugo originally claimed he did not break Haas’ finger, and that she got the injury from slamming her finger in the door. The grand jury agreed that it was not Lugo’s intention to break Haas’ finger, and that the result was accidental.

    The criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, do everything possible to ensure that our clients do not get charged, have the charges against them dropped, or receive the least severe penalties possible. Call our offices at (214) 845-7007 to discuss your personal situation and assess your legal options.

  • Fake weapons being used to commit crimes in Texas

    Police Lieutenant Christopher Cook of the Arlington Police Department said that police officers in his precinct have witnessed the trend of suspects in crimes intentionally carrying imitation weapons, such as BB guns, rather than the authentic machinery.

    Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association member Jon Convery said that there have not been many court cases involving criminal behavior using a fake gun, but he contended that since there are a lot of residents in Texas who are registered to carry handguns, it is a dangerous business to commit a crime using any weapon, fake or real. Some states, such as New York, have banned the sale of fake weapons online, while others have imposed stiffer restrictions on how realistic they can look.

    If you have been charged with a crime in Dallas or another area in Texas, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter are prepared to ensure that your legal rights and freedoms are protected throughout the legal process. Seek our legal assistance and learn about the options specific to your situation by calling our offices at (214) 845-7007.

  • Ex-Fort Worth police officer convicted of rape freed after 21 years

    Fifty-six-year-old former Fort Worth, Texas police officer Brian Franklin, who was found guilty of raping a 13-year-old girl in March 1994, has been freed after serving 21 years of a life sentence.  The development comes after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in April that his conviction should be thrown out because Franklin’s accuser admitted in 2014 that she lied during part of her testimony in the 1995 trial.

    According to The Associated Press, Franklin posted a $10,000 bail on Thursday, May 5. However, prosecutors still want to pursue the case. Tarrant County prosecutor Bill Vassar told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that, “We are headed to a new trial. If the defense would like to plead, we will consider that.” Although the victim did claim she lied about some parts of her testimony, she maintains that it is true that Franklin raped her in her father’s backyard in March 1994.

    A criminal charge can have debilitating consequences on one’s life, especially if it leads to a wrongful conviction. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Dallas, the dedicated attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter can help you reach the best possible outcome. Call our office to discuss your legal options at (214) 845-7007.

  • U.S. Supreme Court ruling on warrant-less blood testing threatens current cases

    A recent United States Supreme Court ruling which hinders police officials from drawing blood from drivers suspected of DWI without a warrant may lead to protocol changes for this procedure in Longview and Gregg County, Texas.

    The court chose to disregard the opposition’s argument that the rate at which alcohol metabolizes by the body justifies drawing blood without a warrant.

    Gregg County District Attorney Carl Dorrough stated that Texas lawmakers in 2009 incorporated a statute to the Texas Transportation Code that enables law enforcement to perform warrant-less blood draws in certain specific situations. He added that even though the Supreme Court gave its ruling that disapproved of warrant-less blood draws three years ago, and the cases didn’t involve the state, cases have increased in which defense lawyers are using this ruling to defend their clients.

    Dorrough said at least seventeen arrests from 2013 or earlier in Austin are in danger for prosecutors as those cases begin their travel in appeal courts, where judges are barring the results from blood alcohol tests because they were done without a warrant.

    Getting charged with a criminal offense can affect many aspects of your life, including your career, your personal relationships, and your most basic freedoms. If you are in a situation in which you need legal help to protect your rights in a criminal offense case in Dallas or other areas in Texas, do not hesitate to get in touch with our attorneys at Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.

  • Porn star backs out on $500,000 assault lawsuit against Josh Duggar

    Adult film actress and San Diego, California resident Ashley Stamm-Northup has dropped her $500,000 assault lawsuit against 27-year-old television personality Joshua James “Josh” Duggar amidst allegations that Stamm-Northup’s allegations were untrue and fabricated.

    Duggar’s legal counsel was of the opinion that the allegations contained in the lawsuit were “entirely fictitious.”

    According to Stamm-Northup’s lawsuit, she became acquainted with Duggar while she was working at a Philadelphia strip club in the spring of 2015 and that Duggar subjected her to physical assault in a hotel. Evidence did not place Duggar in Philadelphia at the time of the incident that Stamm-Northup described.

     

    Criminal charges can have devastating effects on every part of your life, and if you have been charged with any offense, it’s essential that you secure experienced representation to make sure that your rights and freedoms are protected. Learn more about what the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter can do for you by calling our Dallas criminal lawyers today at (214) 845-7007.

  • San Antonio PD reported 94 homicides in 2015

    On Monday, January 11 of this year, the San Antonio Police Department in Texas reported to the Department of Public Safety in its annual uniform crime report that there were 94 homicides in the area in 2015. This number represents a decrease from 2014’s record high of 103 homicides, but an increase from 2013’s record low of only 71.

    It’s important to note that not all homicides can be legally classified as criminal offenses. Some deaths may be considered “justifiable” if the perpetrator was defending his or her life.

    There are a number of factors that may contribute to the number of homicides in a year. Some of the more common are drug or gang activity, but some people may be surprised to learn that factors such as the economy or bad weather can also prompt an increase in killings.

    If you had been charged with a criminal offense such as homicide in Dallas, contacting a skilled and dedicated criminal defense attorney right away will be an essential part of protecting your best interests. The legal team at the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter represents clients who are facing a number of charges, and we will work to ensure that your rights are upheld throughout the legal process. Call (214) 845-7007 to speak to our team today.

  • Man kills ex-wife over division of assets

    According to a police affidavit from Decatur, Texas, 63-year-old Roger Stevens told his wife of 42 years, 62-year-old Kay Letson Stevens, that he was killing her because of the way their assets had been divided during their divorce, and then proceeded to shoot her multiple times on Nov. 14, 2015.

    The Stevens’ divorce was finalized a day before Kay Stevens’ death.

    Sergeant George Silvestri said that upon searching Stevens’ car during the third week of November, a gun case, three .22 magnum cartridges, and a top seal to a liquor bottle were found.

    Kay Stevens’ death was allegedly witnessed by Kay’s sister Brenda Suggs, as the two were co-owners of Corner Bakery on Somerville Road Southeast, which was located across Decatur Morgan Hospital, where the killing occurred.

    An investigation into Roger Stevens’ finances revealed that he has nearly $20,000 in retirement accounts; however, he refused to spend the money on and attorney and instead has chosen to represent himself.

  • Woman faces fourth DWI in College Station

    Fifty-three-year-old Mary McGhee has been taken into custody by College Station police in Texas and was charged with driving while intoxicated on Saturday, November 21.

    According to preliminary reports from the local authorities, McGhee was heading south on Texas Avenue when she crashed into the vehicle in front of her. When police officers attempted to communicate with her after the collision, McGhee was allegedly too intoxicated to speak clearly. McGhee has been convicted of DWI three times prior to this incident, and she also has two convictions of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Florida.

    McGhee is not facing the possibility of up to ten years in jail and  fines of up to $10,000 if convicted of this third-degree felony charge.

    Being charged with a criminal offense of any kind or degree is a serious matter, as the penalties that will come your way if you are convicted can be life-altering. Tha’s why it will be imperative that you contact a skilled defense attorney as soon as possible. Get in touch with our attorneys at Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter if you have been charged with a crime in Dallas or other areas in Texas by calling our offices today at (214) 845-7007.